Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Battle of Effigies

Last Tuesday I played a 50 point Warmachine game.

My list was:

Lich Lord Venethrax
- Seether

Minimum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Nyss Hunters
Maximum unit of Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
Withershadow Combine
Warwitch Siren
Ogrun Bokur (Venethrax client)
Wrong Eye & Snapjaw

Objective: Effigy of Valor

I was against:

Ravens of War tier 4
Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight
- Naga Nightlurker
- 3x Ravagore

Strider Rangers
Strider Rangers + free Unit Attachment
4x Strider Deathstalker

Objective: Effigy of Valor

Scenario was Destruction and Cryx started game. First picture is from the end of Legion turn 1, and things are already happening on the board. While Strider and Deathstalker shooting was less than impressive and Ravagores didn't get good deviations on top of Satyxis, the Scather templates neutralized Satyxis from doing anything too useful next turn.

Turn 2 was Venethrax's feat turn. Thanks to those nasty templates I couldn't make such an onslaught of cloud effect as I had originally wanted. But Venethrax was the very first model to activate, and he advanced closer to the middle and used feat. Not a single focus was spent that turn. Admonia even upkept the Dragon Slayer.

Also here I learned enemy was 100% stealthed. That made Nyss Hunter shooting all but non-existent. So they charged and killed a couple of Striders.

Warwitch Siren advanced and cast her Venom, but missed every model caught by the template. My own Nyss included, at least.

Wrong Eye advanced and forgot to throw Fury away. Then Snapjaw charged in to Striders. It managed to miss initial attack, and I really wanted two clouds to the middle. That meant Snapjaw went to full capacity on Fury, so Wrong Eye wouldn't be transfering anything if something tried to kill him.

Satyxis Raiders ran to engage enemy infantry and tried to place themselves so that if opponent attacked them I'd get nice cloud coverage.

Seether ran to block line of sight to Venethrax.

Then it's Legion. Lylyth used her feat, too. I guess Venethraxs' clouds did limit targets Legion had. But thanks to my blunder with Wrong Eye & Snapjaw, Wrongeye died to a couple of Ravagore shots. Possibly to just one.

If my math is right six Satyxis and six Nyss Hunters die to the feat, as well as Ogrun Bokur who took one shot that wanted to wreck Seether.

Turn 3 I thought that damn... I'm going to start dominating right here and right now. Tremulus gave Puppet Master for Satyxis Raiders, who then moved out of way of Bane Thralls and killed two Strider Deathstalkers.

Then it looked like 6" might be enough to get Seether to contact with one, hopefully two Striders close to the enemy objective. Well... perspective and desperate hope can lie to you harshly sometimes. Seether's advance fell short almost a quarter of an inch from the closer Strider.

Here I stopped trying to play scenario this turn at all. Well, sure, Bane Thralls charged the objective dead, but that's it. Venethrax advanced to the zone, but missed attack against a Strider Deathstalker, and didn't have guts to buy additional attacks.

One Ravagore frenzies. Lylyth2's tier list doesn't allow any kind of fury management, so I guess the turn after Lylyth's feat is always a little exciting. This time it cost one Deathstalker for Legion.

What's left of Striders kill Nyss Hunters. A Ravagore enters melee with Seether but fails to deliver the killling blow. Seether has only movement left.

Turn 4 the very same Seether hits with both hands against Ravagore. That's 4+ on one die! And both attacks dealt a minimum of two points of damage with one die. The jaws killed a Strider. Pretty good performance from a brutally mauled wreckage.

Satyxis ran to engage the back line Ravagores.

Venethrax advances to melee with Ravagore and provokes a free strike from Strider. Whee. Now that I think of it... only triple sixes would have dealt one damage point in. But it wasn't even a hit. I planned around on spending Fury enough so that once Venethrax cut down Ravagore, he would be at seven focus points again. And that succeeded.

Bane Thralls then charge around. One Bane goes for a Strider next to Venethrax and another for Ravagore in the back.

Legion then wrecks Seether and kills all remaining Satyxis plus most of the Bane Thralls. I think there were two left from the unit and the standard.

I don't entirely remember what Lylyth herself did here, but the end result was that opponent lost on Deathclock. We had been practising for a tournament. Otherwise I doubt I'd even mention that, but this was a special case that put me in a personal dilemma, distress, tragedy and you name it. Lylyth had been the last model to activate, and the clock ran out during last attack Lylyth was making. So there was no easy agreement of continuing game after dying to the clock.

Now. I have no problem of trying to play "as if" the clock would end the game. If I don't have much time left and we already have agreement of continuing game even after clock, I'm often willing to put myself in vulnerable position if there is a real-but-unlikely chance of pulling off an assassination or something during last few minutes of soft deathclock.

However.

I also had only a few minutes left on my clock when my turn would have started. There were two options here - to continue playing as normal, though game would have most definitely devolved into a slow-grind where Venethrax camps full focus every turn and kills any and all beasts that wandered too close to contest the zone. I felt like I had a strong position even if my forces were dwindling, but from that point either player might have emerged victorious.

Another possibility would have been to continue playing with clock as the most pressing imperative. But that would force me into a very silly position with game ending certain doom if failed and I might run out of clock during the attempt. I also didn't have the time to maximize my chances with the forces I still had left that turn, making it feel like I would basically give the game to opponent when the bell had already tolled for him.

This time the options were completely excluding each other out. Usually they aren't this extreme - especially in a situation where I'm running out of clock but opponent still has some. But in the end for the sake of authentic tournament practice we ended the game, but I still hastily activated Venethrax just to see if the few minutes would have been enough.

Now, this is my usual trick to make peace with my conscience. End the game, but still look forward a bit to see if end result would have been any different either way.

This time it would have made all the difference. Venethrax missed boosted charge attack against Lylyth, and all in total got only two hits out of four (boosted) tries and one unboosted try.

This sucks. I didn't even get a consolation for a tainted and cheap, hollow "victory".

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Counter-Seduction, and other modern warfare tactics

Last Thursday I played a 50 point game of Warmachine.

I was going to try out Iron Lich Asphyxious from my possible Asphyxious/Venethrax ADR pairing for an upcoming tournament.

List was:

Iron Lich Asphyxious
- 2x Slayer
- Nightwretch
- Ripjaw

Maximum unit of Mechanithralls + 2x Brute Thralls + Skarlock Commander
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls
Aiakos, Scourge of Meredius
- Harrower
Pistol Wraith
Skarlock
Warwitch Siren
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Gorman diWulfe
Saxon Orrik

Opponent played:

Harbinger of Menoth
- Devout

Maximum unit of Temple Flameguard + Unit Attachment
Daughters of the Flame
Knights Exemplar
Maximum unit of Exemplar Bastions
Maximum unit of Horgenhold Forge Guard + Attendant Priest
Vilmon
Hierophant
Knight Exemplar Seneschal
Covenant of Menoth

Scenario was Incursion, and Cryx started game. First picture is from the end of Protectorate turn 1. Harbinger has already activated her feat. Damn. Hard decisions would need to be made now.

Turn 2 Nightwretch advanced to contest western flag and took a POW 14. One of the Slayers advanced to contest middle flag and took a POW 14. Harrower tried to act as some sort of a nuisance and charged to Knights Exemplar and Horgendhold Forge Guard. The charge was a bit of a failure, as I had hoped to get three Forge Guards and one Exemplar within thresher range. Only the Exemplar and one Forge Guard were there even when the charge was aided by Escort.

Not much else happened. Asphyxious tried to cast some Breath of Corruptions to discourage possible charges by Daughters of the Flame and with a good deviation instantly kill them. There were no good deviations, however. Both shots fell in front of Bastions, who just laughed at the green clouds.

Protectorate charged in with Daughters of the Flame. Only one actually got to make attacks, but those attacks were against Gorman diWulfe, who perished under the blade. No, actually two Daughters made a real charge. There is one attacking Slayer. And now I remember. Those were the damage that Necrotech promptly failed to fix on the following turn... Well at least no systems had been broken by a lone Daughter and Harbinger's feat.

Vilmon charges and wrecks Nightwretch, but luckily opponent couldn't bring anyone to control the flag.

Then I don't quite understand what happened there with the Harrower. I mean... it survived five Forge Guard attacks and one Knights Exemplar. I think it still had Cortex left and possibly the ranged weapon. Not that either one mattered much since it was out of Aiakos' control area.

Turn 3 I needed to make some sort of a real move. The best I could think of was to not back up at all and move Asphyxious forward with full focus camp. He possibly allocated a couple of focus points to various Slayers, and advanced to cast Parasite on Daughters of the Flame. Then after he had spent all of his focus he used feat to bring him back to seven.

The feat didn't even kill that many Daughters. Boo. And Temple Flameguard were under Iron Zeal that turn, so feat wouldn't even be able to damage them. Boo.

But Mechanithralls did. Astounding number of 10+ were rolled for hits. I vaguely hoped Harbinger would overuse her Martyrdom ability, but that didn't really happen. Only one Daughter was left alive, who then was being Martyrdomed for all eternity.

Harrower killed one or two Forge Guards. Probably one, which was enough to cause rage in the Seneschal close by. Pistol Wraith tried to shoot Death Chill to the Seneschal, which was when I learned that Covenant with that pesky passage in that dusty old tome prevents Stationary as well as Knocked Down. Activation well spent.

Warwitch Siren gave focus for Ripjaw, who marched to attack an Exemplar Bastion. I don't remember the damage any longer, or even if Siren actually gave that focus for Ripjaw and not, for example, a Slayer.

A Stitch Thrall valiantly entered to contest Vilmon's flag.

Then it was Protectorate's turn. Forge Guards destroy Harrower wreck, but Knights Exemplars make an astounding job of not being able to hit Pistol Wraith with even two tries. Third Exemplar misses Slayer. To make up for the poor performance of his brethren last Exemplar scored a hit against Ripjaw and took off it's arc node.

Knight Exemplar Seneschal is about to charge Slayer, but remembers that "oh crap, I don't have long enough swords", so he just comes to hang around, trying to look casual and cool.

Temple Flameguard charge in and set Asphyxious on fire. One also kills Necrosurgeon, which was a blow, but a deserved one. I had placed her in such a bad position. Scenario goes 1-0 to Protectorate.

Turn 4 Pistol Wraith shot both Exemplars who had charged it. Go figure.

Aiakos either charges or advanced & leaps to attack Forge Guards, dispatching two of them and still camping three focus.

Mainly I had been hoping I'd find a way to charge Asphyxious (who's fire effect didn't continue, by the way) to Harbinger, but that required a lot of successful attacks by many models so that Harbinger wouldn't just martyrdom the ones who were in Ashpyxious' way. Mechanithralls did fine job again at landing solid hits, but Flameguard were not that bad at rolling Tough either. However, the model that screwed everything up was Skarlock. It advanced and cast Breath of Corruption so that it would land on all three Flameguards blocking Asphyxious. Obviously it missed and deviation landed the cloud effect so it completely blocked Asphyxious' line of sight to Harbinger. Not that it had been likely that I'd remove all three before it was Asphyxious' turn to activate, but now there was zero use in attempting that at all.

He camped eight focus instead, then.

Necrotech succeeded in repair roll and repaired one (1) point of damage. I just had to write that down. Their mechanical aptitude almost equals that of my own.

Slayer and Ripjaw punch holes into Bastions. Another Slayer and a Warwitch Siren kill Exemplar Seneschal.

Protectorate then. Flameguard sets Asphyxious on fire again, and quite a few Mechanithralls die to their spears. Exemplar Bastions wreck Ripjaw, but Slayer manages to dodge most of their attacks again.

Harbinger takes a run closer to lower flags. She camped nine focus points I think.

Vilmon kills contesting Stitch Thralls again and scenario goes 2-0 for Protectorate.

Turn 5 things start to look relatively good. Against all odds I had not lost Slayers yet, and Cryxian damage output this turn was enough to remove all but one Exemplar Bastion. Quite a few Flameguards die too and the very last Stitch Thrall advances trembling to sacrifice itself to altar of Vilmon. I bet that's not a battle story Vilmon tells to his paladin friends at a tavern table when they are bragging to each other about the greatest kills.

A slayer tries to beat the last remaining Knights Exemplar, but fails to do that. Aiakos has to advance and leap to make better work than a five ton construct build for battle. Pistol Wraith advances and shoots remaining Forge Guards.

To get the last model away that's contesting lowest flag Warwitch Siren advances to base contact with Exemplar Bastion, who then proceeds to take a swing at no other than Harbinger of Menoth. Unfortunately no damage was made.

Thanks to one extra focus from earlier soul token Asphyxious was ARM 24. And when things suddenly look good you have a high risk of becoming overconfident. That's exactly what happened here. Arm 24 Iron Lich Asphyxious advances to dominate middle flag, though there were enemy models near enough to contest. Either way, scenario went to 2-1 for Protectorate thanks to Pistol Wraith. Oh, I think Asphyxious had taken two points of damage from fire continuous effect.

So. Protectorate goes for the assassination. This turn Vilmon charges some other target than Stitch Thralls - he charged Asphyxious. And missed. Yup. Definitely not a tale to be told.

Then there was this funny moment when I got to taste my own medicine. My sweet medicine called Seduction. That... that sounds wrong. On purpose.

Just when Warwitch Siren had seduced Exemplar Bastion to attack Harbinger, Madelyn Corbeau advanced next to Warwitch Siren and seduced her. Somehow Madelyn convinced Siren to attack Necrotech. A hit was scored, but P+S 11 wasn't enough to kill the necromechanic.

Then literally everything charged Asphyxious. Except maybe for the Hierophant and Covenant of Menoth. Arm 24 was too much for all other models except for Harbinger, who charged in. And she got close enough to land two automatically hitting POW 20's with a damage boost. Darn. First roll is on the lower side, but one good roll would take Asphyxious out now. But it didn't. Asphyxious was at seven hit boxes remaining. But then we remember about such insignificant details as the actual charge attack.

It didn't kill Asphyxious, but it dealt two more points in. And Asphyxious was on fire. Rolling 9+ is, like, entire light years more likely to roll than 11+ on two dice.

So then.

I roll if fire expires. It doesn't.

Opponent rolls for damage, and first die to land is a six. Dice settle, and it's a six and a two. Asphyxious is at one hit box remaining.

Asphyxious stands there blinking for a while before realizes he isn't dead. Quickly he fixes his face and twirls his mustache and says: "Excellent! Everything is going according to my plan! What a skilled master-class caster bait yet again, old man Asphyxious... yet again! You're the best!"

And then he skewers Harbinger. Fun fact: Harbinger does still float even when impaled by soulsplitter.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A new generation of circus folk

I guess I have a little bit more pressing matters to write here, but I was so happy when I had finished these new performers for Mordheim's Carnival of Chaos that I had to sneak in a painting update.

All of the three guys have mostly just been basecoated and dipped into Army Painter quickshade except for the big guys torch.

The torch bearer will act as Plague Bearer. It is Plague Sorcerer model from Avatars of War.

The pink one will become the Brethren Hero, and he is King Pulcinella model from Carnevale.

In the picture it doesn't look like there's water effect in the Nurgling's base at all, and somehow it dried to bubble-free that it's hard to notice with bare eyes, too. Ah well. At least I finally got to use that water effect I bought from Ropecon... what... four years ago?

To the second picture I added henchmen I had finished some time earlier. They're Carnevale models too... Worshippers or Acolytes of Dagon or something like that.

Well. That's all.

There's a muton under my apron!

Last Wednesday I played two Deadzone games.

They were mission seven and eight from an ongoing ten mission campaign.

So far my Strike Force of angry mutons hasn't been very lucky. In fact they have been so unlucky that my army didn't have enough models to make a 70 point game any more.

My Strike Team for first mission (Careful Carnage, I think... survive and get a few victory points for killing enemy models) was:

- Plague General, the Ethereal
- Stage 3A muton with 7+ Shoot, 6+ Melee and two veteran dice
- Stage 3Amuton with 7+ shoot and two veteran dice
- Plague Hound (Orange one in pictures) with 7+ Melee and 5+ Survive and Spotter skill
- Plague Hound with AP1
- HMG specialist with Spotter skill
- 2x HMG specialists with no experience
- 4x Useless Cannon Fodder Stage 3A's (Fresh recruits)

Enforcers had:

- Assault Enforcer
- Regular Enforcer
- Engineer
- Strider
- Some sort of a spotter drone

Enforcers started game. First picture is from the same turn, but in different angles. Red oval marks the same space for a Stage 3A HMG specialist in both pictures.

Zombies are the fresh rooks. As there were only two buildings on the board, I was happy that deployment was the exact edges shown in the pictures. It was easy to try and hide from the cruel and unforgiving world that had been beating the aliens so harshly earlier.

As opponent had so few models on board, they couldn't make that many attacks in the same turn. However, I didn't feel like I had chances of taking out the Strider - or, at least I couldn't risk it by throwing enough meat against it and whittle it down. I needed to survive. But I also needed to keep Strider busy and possibly contest objectives. I was almost ready to just hide under a rock and score as many survive points as I could before Enforcers eventually would march to their objectives and win the game.

That wouldn't have been a very exciting game, so instead I decided upon a compromise between reckless abandon and hiding and pretending my aliens were alone. I'd try to shoot perhaps one or with amazing luck two Enforcers and then pull back - or if my points on board would go dangerously close to 35.

In the first picture there is a plague hound and a HMG specialist on second floor of my side's building. The muton space would become a point of interest in this game, as well as a certain ledge in the second picture.

They were the cubes both parties were concentrating on in shooting. My main plan was to make massed Blaze Away! actions with the HMG on second floor assisted by three models on ground. It worked fine enough until even the mighty psychic powers (command actions) of Ethereal and Battle Cards were not enough to raise the main shooter's morale. One of the most annoying aspects of the situation was a well placed sentry gun, who launched a volley of suppressing fire again and again against the HMG muton.

Since there had been surprisingly few casualties, I felt bold enough to sacrifice the redshirts I had gotten for free. One of them ran right next to the Strider who was checking up objective on the left. Perhaps I might buy one round with this action, who knows? At least the mental image was quite fun when Strider used it's mega sized range 12 super cannon on a wimpy model right in the next cube. Also the AP1 silacoid dog I had hiding in the rubble on the right got rabid and charged the Enforcer Trooper who had come to look at the objective on the right. I think the dog inflicted a wound on the trooper.

Now. Game had lasted already quite long, and I started to raise a little bit of hope in actually winning the mission - though I half expected Enforcers to claim victory any moment now. Somehow it never occurred to me that the HMG muton on the second floor was actually contesting the objective on the middle. No wonder it had taken quite a few bullets into his general direction during the game.

When I had something like eight victory points from survival only, the suppression wars between Plague and Enforcers finally ended to the relative victory of Enforcers. Assault Enforcer and Engineer on the ledge were able to move out of the same cube, and somewhere in the process even my muton died from the second floor. My troopers started to go into hiding and I had to face the fact that even one additional death would cost me the victory now.

It was tenth turn when somebody, I forget who, was being shot at and I was absolutely certain that this is it. Deadzone was truly twisting the knife this time. Only one more turn, damn it!

Oh wait. Nobody died.

What's this? What happened? Why the guns fell silent so suddenly?

What??

I had won my first game in this campaign, and it came from survival victory condition? Nonsense. But sometimes nonsense happens.

As a fun side note... that also meant I had been shooting Enforcers with three and four man Blaze Away's, and not a single wound was ever inflicted. Except by the dog, of course.

But this victory felt hollow, as both of my dogs died. Also the HMG muton received a penalty to its Shoot stat, but that's nothing. The dogs had died!



Game 2 (or 8)

Finally I had at least a little leeway in my Strike Team composition. My mission was nothing else but kill enemies. I had purchased one Plague Swarm with the sweet, sweet reputation points of last game. And a plague hound, too. But it's just not the same... I can't name it Scruffy II.

My team:

- Plague General, the Ethereal
- Stage 3A muton with 5+ Shoot & melee, 6+ Survive and Brawler
- Stage 3A muton with 7+ Shoot, 6+ Melee and two veteran dice
- Stage 3A muton with 7+ Shoot and two veteran dice
- 2x Not-so-fresh-recruits anymore
- Fresh Plague Hound
- HMG specialist with 6+ Shoot and Spotter skill
- HMG specialist who hasn't Ranked yet to be anything special
- Plague Swarm

Now opponent had some models on board I had learned to fear already:

- Assault Enforcer
- 2x Regular Enforcer
- Enforcer Sniper
- Enforcer Missile Launcher
- Some sort of a spotter drone

Enforcers started game. Their Sniper quickly took a kill shot position from the highest peak on the board. From my earlier experiences that was bad. And surely enough the spotter HMG muton died very early in the game, and I thought that I just had to weather the fire somehow and go to the offence.

I got one surprise melee muton to the Enforcer far there in the back of the picture by using command action, move card, agile sprint and move. But that long distance charge was useless. Nothing really happened there. No damage done, and then the immoral Enforcers used Blaze Away to knock both of the participant down.

But this had bought time for Plague Swarm to huddle closer and come to help the green guy. Swarm charged in and scored a kill. Muton was now free to activate, and it tried to challenge the Assault Enforcer. This time the result was even worse - it managed to get a wound himself instead.

What was sort of a deciding moment in the game was when Enforcers were then unable to suppress the Plague Swarm - it merely lost its enraged status.

Come next turn, and all hell broke loose. It was the moment the aliens had been waiting throughout the campaign. A lucky Blaze Away suppressed both Enforcers on the cube next to Plague Swarm. Plague Swarm then climbed up to them and ate the missile launcher, doubling or tripling the score. That triggered a free action, so Swarm got to fight against the other Enforcer, too. Again tons of damage in and doubles or triples, which triggered a free action. Swarm jumped down on Assault Enforcer and butchered it to pieces.

And the slaughter didn't end here. A random muton near the objective on the middle went on almost equal killing spree. Well. Maybe I'm glorifying that a bit. But still it climbed up to Enforcer Trooper and killed him. This was more than enough to give me a victory.

The beast that hungered had now been satiated. My only concern is... how long will it stay in torpor? Because this was eight mission in the campaign, and total victory is decided on the most total reputation points. Thanks to really poor start (if you can call seven out of ten mission a start) I need victories that equal or even surpass these to have a chance at winning the campaign.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

One should not chew on stainless steel

Last Thursday I played a 35 point game of Warmachine.

I took my Circle of Orboros for a spin. It's been quite a while since I last played them.

And the reason is simple. I don't know who to play! Statistically Morvahna2 is lagging behind in the number of games played, but I'd rather save her for tournaments than casual games.

And I did what I usually do when I don't know which Circle warlock I'd want to play. Most often it's Kaya the Wildborne. I don't know why... it just happens.

Anyway. My list was:

Kaya the Wildborne
- Gnarlhorn Satyr
- Warpwolf Stalker
- Winter Argus
- Scarsfell Griffon
- Gorax

Shifting Stones + Stone Keeper
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew
Blackclad Wayfarer
Druid Wilder
Feralgeist

That's 15 models that includes four which have no attack whatsoever, and quite a few with negligible attack potential. So I was quite worried when I saw what was against me.

Axis, the Harmonic Enforcer
Sustained Attack tier 3
- Corollary
- Inverter

Maximum unit of Obstructors + Enumerator
Maximum unit of Obstructors
Maximum unit of Reductors + Enumerator
4x Enigma Foundry

That's 35 models that would just be coming back no matter what. But in the end this game would become one of the more interesting ones I've played. So.

Scenario was Outflank, and Circle started game. I don't want to imagine this game if Convergence with 30 Advance Deployed infantry models would have started. First picture is from the end of Convergence turn 1.

Turn 2 Circle dedicates Griffon to contest eastern zone. Then I'm wondering if I might actually be able to destroy one unit of Obstructors. I guess it might have been doable, but I was too greedy. First Warpwolf Stalker warped for Berserk and charged. I wanted to catch all four leftmost Obstructors and possibly one or two Reductors within Stalker's reach, but only four Obstructors were there in the end. Oh well.

Then Winter Argus advances and attempts to spray some Obstructors and killed a few. Since one Obstructor had been in a nasty position to get hold of, Blackclad Wayfarer advanced and for some unfathomable reason sprayed the other unit of Obstructors. Swamp Gobbers run to protect Blackclad Wayfarer.

Kaya advances and casts Spirit Door twice to call back both Warpwolf Stalker and Winter Argus. She was at zero Fury for transfers, but opponent didn't have that much shooting. At least not POW 13 sprays that had re-rolls for missed attack rolls.

Convergence turn 2 Axis uses his feat. Reductors advance and start to spray. I only three sprays got to Kaya. Out of six attack rolls only one hit - but dealt eight points of damage. Gnarlhorn Satyr took heavy damage, and teleportation possibilities for Shifting Stones became limited when one stone got destroyed.

Enigma Foundry builds some new Obstructors to the unit on the right, and then the aforementioned unit charges and kills Scarsfell Griffon. Two of the newly build robots even reached a second Shifting Stone and the Stone Keeper - and there went a second stone. Now that I look at the picture... did that unit also kill Blackclad Wayfarer? That's seven points plus some fractions from the stones already. Damn.

Thankfully the Reductors blocked any meaningful charges for Obstructors on the left, so they just Shield Walled themselves and beat down one Swamp Gobber.

Turn 3 I do something I should have done a turn earlier: Feralgeist runs to contest the eastern zone. Stone Keeper also teleports there and uses his attack spell on a cluster of metalheads in the middle. A couple of Reductors die, which is perfect.

Druid Wilder gives Sprint to Warpwolf Stalker, who warps for Berserk and advances to take a maximum toll on Reductors - though it had only Spd 4 thanks to Axis' feat. Afterwards it sprinted back, and Winter Argus sprayed some winter on Reductors. Since first spray killed everything that was within reach anyway, it opted to force it's own animus.

Kaya cast Spirit Door on Warpwolf Stalker and healed Gnarlhorn for a couple points of damage.

Then it's Convergence.

An Enigma Foundry scuttles forward on the left, its tiny greedy clockwork hands sweating with anticipation for building yet another batch of robots. But it stopped in a place where Gnarlhorn Satyr was able to counter slam it - and slam distance was no less than full 8", which brought it into contact with Inverter. Worth the giggles.

However, I was fairly certain now that Gnarlhorn would just die. Gnarlhorn Satyr has failed me so many times before and I didn't expect this to be any different. But much to my amazement Gnarlhorn casually shrugged off almost every enemy attack. Was it trying to make up for its earlier games? Or does it have an attitude that it will not even try unless outnumbered 4 to 1? I do not know. But I know that at the end of the turn Gnarlhorn was still very much alive. Well... not very much. A tiny bit alive.

On the right side of the board a Swamp Gobber and Stone Keeper somehow manage to stall Convergence - even if they have to valiantly sacrifice their own lives doing it. Thanks to Circle's high defence the game had not been such a cakewalk for Convergence that I had been afraid of. After all Axis doesn't have any ability to raise the odds for attack rolls. The small based infantry was stuck with their MAT 6, RAT 5. Though to be honest - getting 8+ shouldn't be that hard than it sometimes looked like it was... but hey, not my time to complain here.

Turn 4 a Shifting Stone teleports to the middle of enemy infantry and Feralgeist runs to forest, taking great care to still contest the zone.

First Winter Argus eats an Obstructor and their Enumerator. Gnarlhorn Satyr makes an incredible trample right next to Inverter. We spent multiple minutes checking the trample line, because it just looked too good to be true - all five small base infantry models were trampled over. Then the Satyr continued to buy extra attacks against Inverter, not accomplishing much there.

Then Druid Wilder casts Primal on Warpwolf Stalker, and Stalker charges Inverter with Strength warp. Inverter is smashed to bits.

I don't remember what Kaya did, though. She charged somewhere, cast Spirit Door on Stalker and then Gnarlhorn, used her feat and cast Spirit Door on herself, too. Perhaps she just advanced, tried to kill last Obstructor near Winter Argus and failed to do that? Oh well. Doesn't matter, really.

Axis runs to eastern zone, and if Feralgeist was capable of fear, I think it might have felt something akin to that emotion.

Tons and tons of Obstructors start to flood into the western zone, and Gorax really did luck out there when multiple MAT 6's rolled misses against its DEF 12.

Turn 5 Warpwolf Stalker has no other option except to frenzy, so the little guy next to it is demoted to a makeshift chewing toy. But Winter Argus, Gnarlhorn Satyr and Gorax make exceptional job at clearing the zone of enemy models. Druid Wilder's charge to an Obstructor is less impressive, and she probably has to pay for it with her life. I can't quite believe scenario just went 2-1 for Circle.

That joy for being ahead in scenario doesn't last long, as Axis shoots Feralgeist dead with Battering Ram.

But then. The attack rolls of small based MAT 6 infantry. What could have resulted in three dead warbeasts with a bit of luck turned into a massive farce when hits and damage were next to nothing against Gorax, Gnarlhorn Satyr and the back arc of Warpwolf Stalker. I guess only massive amount of overkilling and dedicating all attacks to a single warbeast may have killed at least one. Especially Gorax and Gnarlhorn had been trolling hard throughout the whole game.

Anyway. Scenario went 3-2 for Convergence.

Turn 6 Warpwolf Stalker warps for berserk and clears a huge swathe of troops from my zone. Winter Argus sprays some more. Gorax kills one last troublesome Obstructor, and then Gnarlhorn is free to trample to contest eastern zone. Kaya personally dispatched last contesting Obstructor from my zone.

Scenario was 4-3 for Circle.

Sadly Axis has quite impressive amount of tricks to push enemy models around. One Battering Ram pushed Gnarlhorn Satyr out of the eastern zone. Now only a random Obstructor needed to contest western zone, and scenario went 5-4 for Convergence.

Uh oh. What a game. What a game.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Voodo Dolls

Then a week ago I played two games of Warmachine.

I knew I would be playing against Skorne which I assumed would have a lot of beasts since opponents collection is new.

In my excel statistics my Wraith Witch Deneghra had never played against Skorne, and she is lagging behind on number of games played. And as probably we all know, she received a nerf that brings her feat to much more tolerable levels. It was all but written in stone which warcaster I would pick, then.

And this was my 35 point list:

Wraith Witch Deneghra
- Defiler
- Nightwretch

Maximum unit of Black Ogrun Boarding Party
Minimum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
Wrong Eye & Snapjaw
Skarlock
Warwitch Siren

Objective: Arcane Wonder

Opponent had:

Master Tormentor Morghoul
- Aradus Soldier
- Titan Gladiator
- Cyclops Brute
- Cyclops Savage

Minimum unit of Beast Handlers
Maximum unit of Nihilators
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew
Mortitheurge Willbreaker
Agonizer

Objective: Bunker

Scenario was Two Fronts, and Cryx started game.

Game ended quite prematurely when Morghoul gave all of his remaining Fury to Agonizer. Enemy Arm 13 warlock was there with no Fury for transfers. I was still a bit hesitant to launch Deneghra all over the Skorne. Of course pre-errata there would have been zero reasons to hold back, but now I had to actually consider what would happen if the dice failed me.

But I decided to try nonetheless, since Deneghra could go Incorporeal. Only enemy model who had magical weapons was Morghoul himself.

Warwitch Siren gave focus for Defiler, who then ran into position. Deneghra advanced and used her feat. Then she cast Hellmouth on a Def 10 Beast Handler via Defiler, who dragged Morghoul to his doom. Deneghra boosted the damage on enemy warlock, and it was enough to bring Morghoul to, what... two boxes remaining?

I had originally been planning on using the last remaining two Focus for +2 Arm, but since Morghoul was ripe for picking, or at least seasoning by Venom, I decided to give it a go. We'd have time for another game if it ended here.

But 7+ is a fickle thing to roll on 2d6. This time it worked, and damage was enough to kill Morghoul.

Game 2:

I really wanted to see how much starting roll affects Wraith Witch Deneghra's play. Same scenario, same sides and same lists, but Skorne started. First picture is from the end of Cryx turn 1.

Aradus Soldier had Admonition on it.

Not taking chances any more, opponent activated "no channeling" cry on Agonizer and ran it forward. Then Skorne have me a jump scare when Abused and Rushed (or only Abused?) Cyclops Savage charges Black Ogrun unit leader. I somehow didn't remember Mortitheurge Willbreaker also has Beastmaster ability, so control area wasn't an issue in this charge. Thankfully I hadn't wasted Focus foolishly for giggles, and Deneghra had six on her for armour. Still she took seven points of damage, which is enough to discourage some of the more daring actions. Like advancing and using a feat, for example.

Oh wait.

Deneghra did go incorporeal, advance and used feat. This time she didn't get whole Skorne army under her feat. Quite a few Nihilators would be free to charge next turn. Then Deneghra casts Hellmouth on the Mortitheurge Willbreaker. Mortitheurge and a Swamp Gobber die. The last gobber fails command check and flees. But as Deneghra didn't have that many damage boxes left any more I panicked and camped the two remaining Focus. I probably boosted the attack roll.

The reason I got so worried was Morghoul's Torment spell. Scoring 11+ to hit and 11+ to damage was well within the realms of possibility. Not that 13+ is that uncommon, but it still feels much safer for a required roll to lose your game.

Then I considered that if Deneghra is knocked down somehow (I guess I failed to remember she was incorporeal... slammed models would just go right through her.) Morghoul might still risk the 13+, so I started building a meatwall around her.

The Cyclops Savage needed to be taken down first. And damn was it hard. Wrong Eye doesn't kill it, and neither does Warwitch Siren. Bile Thrall takes an aiming bonus and shoots at the Cyclops, but still no death for the beast. Five damage and a corrosion on Black Ogrun did happen, though.

Bile Thralls also sprayed one Nihilator dead who was right behind Agonizer. That was a bummer, since I really wanted to spam Influence on it with Wrong Eye and kill Agonizer with style. From side view it looks like the other Nihilator behind Agonizer might have had the baby titan in Reach, but I didn't want to risk that much for style. Wrong Eye went to whack the Cyclops Savage instead, and succeeded.

Nightwretch advances in front of Deneghra and shoots at objective. Black Ogruns charge next. Two tried to destroy the objective, which was left at one box remaining. Two go to block LoS to Deneghra, aligned behind Nightwretch in such a manner that if something... say... a Titan gladiator, perhaps? was to slam the bonejack, it would just knock the Ogruns down and not Deneghra. Who wouldn't have been knocked down anyway. C'est la vie.

Banes just generally failed at anything they tried to do. I think Skarlock had cast Ghost Walk on Black Ogruns in case everything would have failed and Ogruns would have needed to take free strikes from it in order to block LoS to Deneghra.

Turn 3 everything except Cyclops Brute shakes off Shadow Bind. Abused and Enraged Aradus Soldier casually breaks Snapjaw in just a few hits. Those jaws... they hurt.

Morghoul uses his feat, and Titan Gladiator positions itself (presumably) to protect Morghoul and still be in range to smash things next turn.

Nihilators kill a couple of Bane Thralls.

I'm quite confident I can take the Aradus down with Bane Thralls, Black Ogruns and last and least with the Wrong Eye. How wrong I was.

First Bile Thralls get rid of Nihilators and take a couple of shots at the Aradus. That was a complete waste thanks to Arm 23 vs shooting. But hey... corrosion.

Skarlock gives Ghost Walk for Bane Thralls, who then get a charge order. Only two get into contact with Aradus. One misses. Yay. At least death toll on Nihilators and Agonizers was satisfying.

Black Ogruns charge next and two get to Aradus. Rest try to wrestle with the objective. The succeed... the ones with Aradus don't. I'm starting to get a little desperate here, and send Warwitch Siren to attack the Aradus. She scores a hit and Shadow Binds it.

This might be the first time in recorded history when I had a real opportunity to use Wrong Eye's Voodoo Doll spell. I actually had wild fantasies of getting it on both the Titan Gladiator and Aradus Soldier. Damage rolls had been so poor against the Aradus that I couldn't rely on Wrong Eye taking it down even with four Fury. So. Voodoo Doll on it, and Spirit was gone. Gladiator required a 8+ to hit, which failed. But you can dream, right?

Deneghra runs to my friendly scenario control zone, camping full focus. Morghoul's feat made pretty much any other action pointless.

So. Scenario was now 2-0 for Cryx.

Turn 4 Cryxian casualty rate is high. Disturbingly high. If first impressions are what sticks with you, then I will be forever afraid of even a Spiritless, Shadow Bound Aradus. Every initial attack hit and killed. Especially the loss of Bane Thrall Officer was a harsh one. Their formation was now completely messed up, as the actual unit leader had been merrily beating Nihilators on the other side of the board.

Titan Gladiator removes all three Black Ogruns who had been busy with the objective. Morghoul charges a Black Ogrun and sprints to dominate his friendly zone.

Cyclops Brute kills Warwitch Siren and Wrong Eye.

Beast Handler goes to contest my friendly zone along with the Swamp Gobber who was finally able to act again.

Game was 2-1 for Cryx.

Now that I'm looking at the picture I don't realize why I didn't bring Nightwretch to contest Skorne zone? Had Nihilator beaten it so badly that I didn't believe it would make it through one Nihilator and one Beast Handler free strike? I don't remember. It's also fully possible I didn't even think of it when I activated the bonejack... Wait. It gets worse.

I try to bring two Bile Thralls to contest enemy zone, but Spd 5 just doesn't cut it. And I couldn't run, because I needed the unit leader to Purge my zone clear. Now. Here's the fun fact: as an added bonus the Purge took the two guys who were engaging Nightwretch. Well spent activation with the Nightwretch there. Did it try to bash a Beast Handler or what?

Deneghra healer herself and moved to relative safety of my objective.

Game was 3-2 for Cryx. I'm looking at you, Nightwretch! No, don't reflect my own image back to me. Damn. I need to use more matt varnish.

Turn 5 Cyclops Brute throws the game. It fails a Threshold check and Titan Gladiator was closest target for it to charge.

I don't know how the game would have played if it had succeeded, but now opponent wouldn't be able to get anyone to contest my zone.

As a final defiant gesture Morghoul runs to stare Deneghra intensively and menacingly.

As warlocks and warcasters don't contest zones, game went 4-2 for Cryx and 5-2 right next on my turn.

Well. What to say. I like it how after the errata Wraith Witch Deneghra actually has to consider defending herself during her feat turn even against a full melee army. I imagine it will be much more distressing aspect against a list that has arcable spells and/or magical shooting on warjacks and warbeasts that you earlier could ignore if you got within right distance to use Web of Shadows.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Horror

Time to quit my slack off and start writing these things, or the weight of backlog games will wear me down rather sooner than later. Oh, these burdens.

A week ago I played a game of Mordheim with my Carnival of Chaos.

Opponent was Reiklanders, and we had about twenty point difference in warband ratings. I had higher, and so when scenario was Surprise attack, Reiklanders got the bonus of being attackers.

Now that I'm reading the scenario, I see one small detail we played wrong. We thought that I roll 4+ for each model in my warband to see if they're there at the start of the game. It should have been for each Hero and each Henchman group. Well, that doesn't bother me too much because the way we played made for one hilarious set-up for me, when I passed only two (2) 4+'s for my party of fifteen models. Brute with two handed weapon and one nurgling.

The nurgling isn't even showing in the first picture, but there sure are some Reiklanders in there...

Reiklanders started the game, and they shot the nurgling dead right away. But thankfully my three-wounded Brute survived a storm of crossbow bolts. One critical hit took away two wounds, but that was not enough to bring him down.

Brute tried to look for some cover in the small ruin behind him, as he was not able to charge anywhere. And... that was my turn.

Turn 2 Reiklanders managed to stun that Brute, but I was mostly just happy that he hadn't been taken out-of-action.

Carnival got another nurgling, plague bearer, the plague cart and the carnival master as reinforcements. Nice number of models I guess, but still one and half less models than what average expectations would have brought. Luckily they didn't come up from the farthest table edge, and considering reinforcement composition I guess it was good that they didn't arrive exactly from behind of Reiklanders either.

This was the turn when The Horror started. The Horror that is the Plague Cart. No, I don't mean it's menacing presence on the board... I'm talking about the rules it has. Or rather, the lack of rules. The rules for that model were spread all over the Empire in Flames supplement. In some cases the rules didn't cover what was different with the Plague Cart, and making up rules on the fly and trying to interpret something that defies all reason (= no text to interpret at all) is very distasteful for me. Playing with the Cart felt awkward, and skimming through the rule book took quite a lot of time from actual playing.

My personal tabletop nightmare. Well, at least rules-wise. Of course it might be more distressing if I accidentally flipped the table, somehow managing to smash only opponents' models, and the falling table breaks his or her spine and is in a half-coma for seven years. Maybe.

Anyway. Reiklanders shoot the brute out-of-action, and one brave soul charges the Plague Cart. Yet again, even if the Plague Cart doesn't cause fear to models on the table, for sure it will cause terror for opponents from now on. Even figuring out how the darned thing is attacked took a while to resolve. And the end result was - nothing happened.

Next turn I get exactly one (1) nurgling as a reinforcement. Thank you lord Nurgle! But I guess I shouldn't complain, for this was a very special nurgling indeed. It single handedly/appendagedly took down the Reiklander who charged Plague Cart, so we never had to spent ten minutes in trying to search how the Cart Guardian was supposed to attack.

Reiklander shooting wasn't too effective in the following turn. They only stunned the heroic nurgling, and possibly depleted Carnival Masters' Lucky Charm.

Then was, what, Carnival turn four? Finally I get some heroes to play. Both Tainted Ones show up from the directly opposed table edge from Plague Cart. So I still had four models who were nowhere to be seen. The were sure taking their time... Though at least I had been lucky with the table edges for the reinforcements.

Both Tainted Ones get to charge, and western flank tries to press aggressively... though what did I really have on that flank? A RNG 6 RAT 3 stream of corruption, two nurglings and a plague cart that I was almost afraid to play myself? Only Carnival Master there had a respectable BS 5 Quick Shoot bow attack. But I guess balance there was okay-ish, since Reiklanders were shooting as badly as I was returning any fire.

Jester Tainted One does nothing - not even dies. The other one scores a kill. Still not even remotely close enough to cause rout tests for opponent.

Reiklanders shot one of the nurglings dead and "only" brought every Hero I had to only one Wound remaining. Could have been worse, I guess. Still no need for a rout test for me neither.

Turn five I get the hiding Brute and the sleeping nurgling to battle. I started to wonder if the last clowns would ever actually even get to the fight... Yet again I was lucky with the table edges, since they came right from the deployment edge of Reiklanders. They didn't get to charge anywhere, though, but came closer nonetheless. Perhaps threat saturation would work here.

I have no more pictures of the game, but I think Carnival Master shot one of the snipers off the roof. Plague Cart trod close to the barricade, and I gave up there with the Cart. I decided it wouldn't move anywhere at all any more, because I didn't even want to know if it could cross small enough obstacles with various tests. Perhaps "use common sense if rulebook is unclear" rule took priority here and said that walls are walls.

Reiklander turn six was nastiest so far. Of course I may have lost some models on my own turn six, but round itself cost me all nurglings, plague bearer and the Reiklanders also had the insolence to punch the clown in the belly. Jester went out-of-action. Plague Cart was at least useful in soaking a couple of bolts from Reiklander shooting that could otherwise went to a Brute nearby. Bolts killed a horse from the Cart. All this was more than enough to cause a rout test for Carnival, which I managed to pass.

Sixth hero and henchman group showed up, and I can imagine that Carnival Master uses a megaphone to shout "All right! Now everyone has arrived. Ladies and gentlemen, the show's on! Come one, come all! For tonight only!"

Brute charges in (I actually think he had a nurgling with him, so it probably died in my own combat phase.) Shooting from Brethren Hero and Carnival Master (and even Plague Bearer...) downed one Reiklander, Brute and at least imagined nurgling in the middle either killed two, or killed one and stunned another. The lone Tainted One skewered somebody also, aided by the henchman. Henchman was a sidekick who's only purpose in the play was to eat a sword, but not through his mouth.

The Carnival Master's clich├ęs from the megaphone were too much for Reiklanders to bear, so they routed voluntarily.

The henchman who showed last turn and died right away was dead for real. "Tommy... hey, Tommy. Are you okay? I think you did that one trick wrong... the sword is sticking through your ribs..."

Shame, since Tommy had maximum experience for a henchman.

--

And then.

Since it's been quite a few games with the same warband, I think I'll compile a little bit more detailed warband composition. Instead of writing a small entry about upgrades to the end of the report I'll just add everything here instead.

Heroes so far for Serial Entertainers:

"Jack", the Carnival Master
M: 3, WS: 4, BS: 5, S: 4, T: 4, W: 2 I: 3 A: 1 Ld: 8
+ 45xp

Equipment: Sword, bow, rope & hook, lucky charm

Skills & injuries: Wizard (Stench of Nurgle... used for real purpose 0 times so far)
Quick Shot
Leg wound
--
Marc Bile, Brute
M: 4, WS: 4, BS: 0, S: 4, T: 4, W: 2, I: 2, A: 2, Ld 9 (whee... at max)
+31xo

Equipment: Ithilmar 2-handed weapon, lucky charm, tarot cards

Skills & injuries: (Strongman)
Resilient, Step Aside, Sprint (new)
Immunity to fear (injury result 63), Bitter enmity (Reiklander warbands)
--

Albert Eel, Brute
M: 4, WS: 4, BS: 0, S: 4, T: 4, W: 3 (max), I: 2, A: 2, Ld: 8
+32xp

Equipment: Double handed weapon, lucky charm

Skills & Injuries: (Strongman)
Sprint, Resilient, Strike to Injure, Jump Up
Old Battle Wound
--

Wayne Gassy, aka "Jester", tainted one
M: 3, W: 3, BS: 3, S: 3, T: 4, W: 1, I: 3, A: 1, Ld: 7
+13xp

Equipment: Axe, hammer, lucky charm, rope & hook, cured leathers

Skills & Injuries: (Cloud of Flies, Hideous)
Jump Up, Step Aside, Sprint
Old Battle Wound, Leg Wound, Madness: Frenzy
--

Jeffrey Laughter, tainted one
M: 4, WS: 3, BS: 3, S: 4, T: 3, W: 3, I: 4, A: 2, Ld 7
+24xp

Equipment: Sword, hammer, rope & hook, cured leathers

Skills & Injuries: (Stream of Corruption... what was I thinking?)
Sprint, Dodge
Hand injury
--

Brethren Hero, aka The Brethren Hero (Shoot + Academic)
M: 4, WS: 3, BS: 6(max), S: 3, T: 3, W: 2, I: 4, A: 1, Ld 8
+20xp

Equipment: Hammer, shield, light armor, bow, rope & hook

Skills & Injuries:
Wyrdstone Hunter
Hand Injury

Henchment:

2x Brethren armed with short bow and hammer. Group was purchased right now so I won't bother to list statistics.
4x Nurglings
2x Plague Bearers
Plague Cart

13 gold in treasury and two Wyrdstone Shards in stash.

Stored equipment:
1x each: short bow, sword, flail

Rating: 240

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Helldiver or helldriver?

Last Wednesday I played a 35 point game of Warmachine.

My list was:

Infernal Machines tier 3
Master Necrotech Mortenebra
- Leviathan
- Reaper
- 3x Helldiver
- Stalker
- Deathripper

2x Warwitch Siren
Bloat Thrall
Necrotech & scrap thrall
Scrap thralls

Opponent was playing:

Warwitch Deneghra
- Defiler
- Nightwretch

Maximum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Mechanithralls + 1x Brute Thrall
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls
Withershadow Combine
Warwitch Siren
Skarlock
Gorman diWulfe
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall

Scenario was Outflank, and Mortenebra started game. First picture seems to be taken from the end of Mortenebra turn 2. Spectral Steel is on Reaper, who has just dragged enemy Defiler to its doom. Reaper alone couldn't destroy the bonejack, so Leviathan advanced and tried to shoot Defiler dead. RAT 5 isn't such a great asset against effective DEF 19, so the shot missed. Luckily it missed Reaper, too. Perhaps playing a bit too risky yet again Mortenebra then advanced and cast Doom Spiral on Defiler. The spell hit home and wrecked its target.

Here I realised that scenario play would be very difficult indeed. I had so few models while opponent had one regenerating unit plus another one that had Stealth and Tough. Nine points on my list weren't even on the table for the most part of the game.

Well. I threw the Scrap Thralls to contest upper zone and forgot to activate Stalker.

Deneghra used her feat on turn 2, but failed to catch Mortenebra under it. Both heavies and the Stalker were Withered, though.

Mechanithralls seized their zone and started scoring control points for Deneghra. A Bane Thrall and a Mechanithrall also charged Reaper, but Bane Thrall missed its attack and Mechanithrall dealt eight or nine points of damage. Damage overall wasn't too bad.

Turn 3 Mortbenebra's forces just tried to thin down some Bane Thralls, and I decided it was worth it to sacrifice one Helldiver to take out the Necrosurgeon. I had also thought that it would also be worth it to knock out Gorman diWulfe with a free charge from Terminal Velocity. Luckily I realised that there were three Iron Liches right next to Gorman - Iron Liches that would turn my Helldiver into a four of five point bonejack for Deneghra. Maybe... just maybe I'll let Gorman live for now.

Before this I had already cast Terminal Velocity, and I hadn't given the other Helldiver any focus that was supposed to kill Necrosurgeon. MAT 6 wasn't enough to score a hit, so Terminal Velocity was kind of a waste for this turn.

Turn 3 Deneghra clears the upper zone of that Faildiver plus Bloat Thrall. Skarlock casts Crippling Grasp on Leviathan, and a Mechanithrall and Brute Thrall charge Reaper. One Mechanithrall also took a swing at my Necrotech, which seemed to be a worse blow than the hits against Reaper. Spectral Steel caused the Helljack to be fully operational next turn, though it had less than 50% of its hit boxes left.

Bane Thrall Officer destroys my Stalker like a boss. DEF 16 wasn't even a challenge. But luckily the grunts of the unit didn't pay attention to the officer's performance, because the meagre Scrap Thrall survived any and all attacks that were made against it. Though when I look at the picture it's quite possible only one Bane Thrall attacked it.

One Stitch Thrall had mistakenly escaped the upper zone, so they weren't controlling the area any more. Deneghra also didn't feel bold enough to just run to the area and leave all the possible attacks undone.

Turn 4 I really wanted to assassinate Deneghra somehow. Both of my helljacks were going to break rather sooner than later, and had the worst things happened the scenario game might have been 0-4 in favor of Deneghra by now.

I got totally fixated on getting Helldivers to Head-Butt Deneghra and then either dragging her with Reaper's Harpoon or just walking up to her and killing her in melee.

Once I had wasted enough time in trying to get a proper angle for Hellidvers against Deneghra, I remembered about Reaper's Sustained Attack. Was that Head-Butt really that necessary with boosts from Terminal Velocity and re-rolls from Mortenebra's feat?

So instead Helldivers just did a couple of attacks just for funsies against Mechanithralls and Gormans and whatever there was blocking the walk to Deneghra. Deryliss cast Overrun on Mortenebra, who then charged the Mechanithrall and the Brute Thrall that had been teasing Reaper. Overrun triggered and Reaper advanced to get a charge off against Deneghra. Terminal Velocity and Recalibration were enough help for Reaper to kill Arm 18 Deneghra in two hits.

I don't know if three helldivers in 35 points is less than optional list construction, but for sure they're fun. And even if I mostly just failed with the Helldivers' target priorities, I think they had much more potential on the tabletop than what I was able to fully abuse.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Derp is strong in this one

Well. What can I say.

I really can't blame Black Ogruns this time... too harshly, at least.

I played two games of Warmachine last Friday.

Since my Lich Lord Asphyxious has been lagging behind in play count for some time now, I decided to give him a go. After all the games were supposed to be tournament practice. And it's been over than a year since I played him last time.

My list was (50 points):

Lich Lord Asphyxious
- Defiler
- Nightwretch

Maximum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Black Ogrun Boarding Party
Aiakos, Scourge of Meredius
- Desecrator
Bane Lord Tartarus
2x Pistol Wraith
Skarlock
Warwitch Siren
Gorman diWulfe

Objective: Effigy of Valor


And first game was against:

Anson Durst
- Judicator
- Reckoner
- Devout

Minimum unit of Choir of Menoth
Maximum unit of Temple Flameguard + Unit Attachment
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon
Regular Paladin
Hierophant
Reclaimer
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal Mechanic
Wracks
Gorman diWulfe

Objective: Something

Scenario was Fire Support and Protectorate started the game.

There isn't much to tell about this game. On my second turn I guess I got so carried away when I was too merrily blocking charges by Temple Flameguard to various targets - including Black Ogruns.

I don't understand why the situation isn't how I fixed the picture. I couldn't bear to watch my Caustic Mists where they were, so I had to cut & paste one to position that would have changed entire game.

Oh, how I wish changing past mistakes was as easy as in Microsoft Paint... but it isn't. Reckoner shot Asphyxious. There might have been a small chance for game to continue if Reckoner missed the first shot that needed 12+ to hit. It didn't miss, though. And to twist the knife in vein I had also placed Asphyxious so close to Effigy of Valor that AoE 3"'s from Judicator were easily clipping him.

Let's never speak about this again, ever.

Game 2:

Since last game was such a disgrace, we played another one. There was a little more into it than to the last game. Not too much, but a little.

My list didn't change, but opponent changed list for:

Northern Crusade tier 2
Hierarch Severius
- Judicator
- Reckoner
- Blessing of Vengeance

Minimum unit of Choir of Menoth
Maximum unit of Temple Flameguard + Unit Attachment
Visgoth Rhoven & Honour Guard
Covenant of Menoth
Hierophant
2x Vassal of Menoth
Vassal Mechanic

Scenario was Recon, and somehow Cryx started game despite the tier bonus for Protectorate. First picture is from the end of Protectorate turn 1. Blessing of Vengeance has Enliven on it, and it was used to cast Fear of God to Black Ogruns, and if I'm counting right, something has killed two Black Ogruns. Oh! Now I remember. Black Ogruns were killing each other from repeated Influences.

Turn 2 Bane Thralls ran forwards, ignorant of any possible threats to them. Black Ogruns shooed the Blessing of Vengeance away from their lawn. Then Desecrator shot its scather template to a random Flameguard. Now, I wouldn't make the same mistake again that I did in last game. I'd block every damn LoS vector there ever was to Asphyxious, and then I cast my own Fear of God to Temple Flameguard in the form of Caustic Mists and a scather template. Take that, you Protectorate swine! Hahaha! Now what you're going to do, old man Severius? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?

Well.

Uh.

You know what's different between Arcing Fire and Awareness?

I do, now. Awareness ignores even those intervening models that are within 1" of the target.

Reckoner could and would have two-shotted Asphyxious again. That's bad enough. I did double check the technicalities of that spell, though. But it was during Protectorate turn 2. Not Cryx turn 2.

But that's really not how the game ended, though I wish it was.

I wanted to bring Bane Lord Tartarus to the LoS blocking safety of the objective and Desecrator, and far enough that if Rhoven made Reckoner ignore Stealth it'd have to come close enough to get wrecked by, well, everything and/or anything.

Take a close look at Tartarus. Especially his facing. Especially his place there in the back arc of Asphyxious.

Blessing of Vengeance ran forward. Rhoven applies stealth ignoring for Severius, and Severius starts spamming Influence on Tartarus.

Technically I did succeed in protecting Tartarus till the end of the game, which is fairly important for Lich Lord Asphyxious.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Audience is not amused (but why do you try to perform for demons?)

Last Thursday I played a couple of Mordheim games.

Well, one real game. The other one... well.

Let's talk about that.

My Carnival of Chaos (rating 195) was against Possessed warband with disturbing Warband rating of 270+

Well, at least that meant +3 additional experience for my clowns... if they only survived. But of course they would, because I had my beautifully converted Plague Cart on the board.

Scenario was Hidden Treasure, where you find the treasure if you roll double sixes when you enter a building. If there is only one building left to search, treasure is automatically there.

Carnival got to start the game, and one of my Movement 4 heroes with Sprint entered one building on turn 1. And double sixes. Treasure was found. Oh my.

Possessed had one Hero who was able to Sprint 15", and once it stopped the advance of my treasure haulers by being close enough to deny running.

I tried to snatch one extra kill for my warband by charging the hero with my jester and two Nurglings. But this bit me back, when the Possessed hero in question tore the clown apart. Well... even more apart than it was before. Reinforcements who arrived then aided in killing the Nurglings also, but really. Game was over right next turn when I carried the treasure off from my table edge.

I guess it was a nice surprise that there was, in fact, a little game in there after all. Just running into building and pretty much instantly winning would have felt pretty bad. The jester got smashed leg and needed to miss next turn. And we did play another game.

Carnival found only five shards of wyrdstone.

Flail wielding brute upgraded his weapon finally for Ithilmar 2-handed weapon, which might have been a ridiculous thing to do since their base Initiative is only two. Same guy also got a new skill, which was Resilient.

Second brute got third wound.

Jester got a third skill, which I seem to have not picked yet. Let's make it official here, then. Jump up goes for the Jester. Seems somehow fitting for such a character.

Last Tainted One (the one who found the treasure" got two 'level ups', and gained +1 Wound and +1 Str. Nice, I guess, but this performer has Weapon Skill 2 from previous injuries.

Brethren Hero got a point of Ballistic Skill, getting him to respectable value of BS 6.

Brethren henchman rolled for WS/BS, and I took Weapon Skill.

My warband rating jumped to some 220ish.


Game 2:

Next scenario was Breakthrough, or something like that. Possessed objective was, anyway. to get two models within 2" of my table edge. This game was a bit more interesting than the last one, though I the Possessed were still so very damn threatening that I sorely missed my Jester.

Oh well.

My ranged weapons were completely useless during whole damn game. And I did use them quite a bit. And I did have Quick Shooting BS 5 carnival master, BS 4 brethren and BS 6 brethren hero trying to shoot, plus one or two Breath of Corruption shots that were made during play. Not a single wound was inflicted.

However, the BS6 Brethren Hero didn't get to fire too many times, as the enemy leader model ran to balcony fairly close to the Hero, and cast a spell that instantly stunned him.

A huge brawl broke loose in the graveyard in the middle. Three Nurglings of mine, the 2-H weapon brute, the WS 2 Tainted hero and brethren henchman were involved from my side, plus whatever carnival master and the brethren hero were able to contribute with ranged weapons. This was fairly entertaining fight. See that half-painted Nurgling with a yellow hat in the middle, close to the brute? If you do, that's enough for now.

Here I must say that Cloud of Flies is a wonderful skill. Turn after turn the Possessed launched devastating charges against that one tiny Nurgling and the brute. Well, of course they charged the two other Nurglings, too, but they died fairly quickly. But these two impenetrable bastions... I'm impressed with their performance. Now. If they only would have fared as well in dealing damage, that might have been enough to demoralize the Possessed. Brute did score random kills here and there, but they were against Henchmen only and not the true threat - acid blooded Hero.

Honourable mentions goes for the Weapon Skill 2 Tainted Hero. I don't remember who or what charged him, but it got skewered right away.

Fighting had also started on the right side of the board, where the Plague Bearer scored all the kills, and not my brute with the shiny beautiful new Ithilmar 2-handed weapon.

I had finally caused enough casualties for enemy to take Rout tests. I had lost two or three Nurglings, most of my still standing heroes were at 1 wound remainings, and I had lost the Brethren hero.

Opponent passed the Rout test, and final turn went badly for me. The Incredible Nurgling who had soaked most of the attacks in the middle died, and as a result the brute in the middle went down, too.

Once my next turn started I deemed my situation too grave, and rout voluntarily. There wasn't so much a WS2 hero could do against six or so possessed.

Two of the Nurglings were banished back to the realm of Chaos, and brute with 2-handed weapon took old battle wound. Brethren Hero took an arm wound, so his role win the team wouldn't be questioned, like, at all... ever. Ws 2, Bs 6.

Carnival Master gained an extra wound. The ithilmar wielding brute purchased a tarot deck for his enjoyment. Why him? Because of Ld 9 he had been "lucky" enough to build up during games...

Ws 2 Tainted Hero rolled for either Weapon skill or Ballistic skill, and I chose Ws. Three is almost like a four when you are able to combine it with Cloud of Flies.